Israel-Hamas war: Central Texas families worry, grieve for loved ones in Israel

For Israeli Americans in central Texas, the war happening a world away is personal.

"I do fear for my family, and friends," Moran Tairy, who has family stranded in Israel, said.

"This has to end," Dori Roberts said.

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Roberts says his family is among 150 Israeli citizens being held hostage by Hamas.

He says he recognized some of his missing family members in a TikTok video of hostages taken by Hamas. This included: his aunt, his cousin and his cousin's two daughters, who are only 2 and 4 years old.

Roberts says he hopes sharing his story will help bring his loved ones to safety.

"They have to release those captors hostage immediately, no negotiation, and just send them back home safe to their families and their loved ones," Roberts said.

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Moran Tairy has lived in Austin for 20 years, but his parents live in Israel. In fact, they were on their way home from the Tel Aviv airport after visiting Austin when the attacks began last weekend.

"It's a 30-minute drive, and they stopped twice on the road, on the side of the road, lay on the floor and put their hands down, because there were rockets coming," Tairy said.

Tairy says his family is now holed up in a safe room.

"Once the siren goes off, you have to get in, and you have 10 minutes," he said. "If you don't hear another siren, then you can leave, but it's constant. So you leave and you eat something, and then again, and if a baby is sleeping you gotta wake everybody up. They're suffering, they're in major anxiety and worried."

RELATED: Attacks in Israel: Family of Austin Israeli-American couple killed

Moshe and Sharon live in Austin, but most of their family lives in Israel.

Part of that extended family was 26-year-old Zur Saidi, a musician who was engaged to be married. Zur was killed in last weekend's Hamas attack on a music festival, along with three of his childhood friends, and at least 260 others.

"This is pure evil," Moshe said. "They were defenseless people who were, you know, dancing, having fun…They were executed. They were shot point blank."

Another extended family member, Hillel Zalmnovich, was also killed by Hamas Saturday morning while out riding his bike.

Days later, Sharon heard from her friend Talia that Talia's brother, his wife and kids had been killed.

"Five body bags," Sharon said. "Now, the same family here and here."

"This soldier who found them, found them lying," Sharon said. "The father was trying to protect those. He was holding his hands, trying to protect them."

"You ask me to describe, but there are no words."

With no end in sight to the violence, all these families say they are worried sick about their loved ones who remain in harms way.